Why I No Longer Attend Lodge

Discussion in 'Masonic Blogs' started by My Freemasonry, Nov 19, 2015.

  1. I haven’t attended Lodge in quite some time, at least a year and a half. This is quite unusual for someone who devoted his first fifteen years actively participating in Lodge affairs, not just my own, but at the district, zone, and state level. I stopped going when it became blatantly obvious Freemasonry was operating more as a good old boy’s club as opposed to the fraternity it was designed to be, where brotherhood was of paramount importance, not aprons or titles. I still believe in the tenants of Freemasonry, but I no longer find attendance at Lodge to be meaningful or rewarding, be it at my mother Lodge or another. I have been asked by many Brothers, of whom I have the utmost respect, to return to Lodge, but I now find it more burdensome than enjoyable. I actually find Freemasonry to be more interesting over the Internet or through chance encounters than in a Lodge building.

    I am relatively well known in Masonic circles thereby becoming somewhat of an icon for those Masons who have abandoned the Craft for other pursuits. In my jurisdiction alone, we have lost over 18,000 members over the last twelve years, averaging an annual decline of approximately 1,500. Year after year we suspend members for non-payment of dues. One must ask, “Why?” Those members I personally know who have dropped out no longer find Lodge meaningful or fun, and fraught with politics and skullduggery. Again, this is not just my Lodge but many others in the area whose membership is shrinking and attendance dwindling. Some of the larger Lodges are so empty, you could play racquetball inside and nobody would know the difference.

    It wasn’t always like this though. When I first started going to Lodge in the 90’s, people cared about each other, there were no personal domination issues, and certainly no politics. Masonic education was considered important for success, and our floor work was impeccable. In other words, you wanted to go to Lodge. You didn’t want to miss anything, as it was all meaningful to you. Unfortunately, not so anymore, which is why I am staying away.

    I still contend Freemasonry is a beautiful logical concept that is poorly implemented physically. I also suspect this phenomenon is not unique to my jurisdiction, as I have visited many other Lodges. Perhaps the most innovative idea I have seen in recent times is the advent of the “Traditional Observance” Lodge (aka, “TO”) which takes the concept of fraternity much more seriously than regular Lodges and has fun in the process. In other words, they have made it meaningful.

    Keep the Faith!

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  2. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Sad story. I believe in freemasonry as a system of philosophy and morality, it transcends the failings of its members and organisations. For me there are several levels of the craft, as a multi-layered system encompassed in the ritual, as a global fraternity, as a member of a jurisdiction and as a member of a lodge, and perhaps most importantly, as an individual. Indeed i've been a foundation member of a new lodge that's aim was to address a failing elsewhere. Its been greatly successful at that. Its energizing. Its similar to the TO model, but then again all our lodges here are. For all its faults, I'm blessed with a fairly good masonic culture in my state.

    Freemasonry is both a team sport and an individual pursuit. I've been reading you on the web for years and think you make a great contribution to discussing the craft.

    Thanks for your contribution its unique and one not many others undertake.

    Fraternally
    Bloke, once from T3P & TSS
     
    Classical likes this.
  3. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    It seems that most human organizations rise, fall and are replaced.

    It is better perhaps not to resist the cycle of birth, maturity and death, but rather look towards new organizations.

    The philosophy contained within, and the science hidden in Freemasonry have existed over vast periods of time and no doubt will find new forms.

    Here is an ancient form: Sun. Moon, stars, square, compasses and a potentially the Five Points of Fellowship

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  4. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    When someone refers to himself as an "icon", I sense I understand the issue
     
  5. wcochran

    wcochran Registered User

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  6. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Hi Wcochran.

    http://masonsleadbetter.com/

    Interesting.. not heard of that one.. I wish you every success!

    The TO is a good program. Our lodges are often run on those aims (here) and I used to get asked a lot of question about how we run our festive boards, about our dress, ritual and teams. I think it is easier here because we only meet once a month. With a new team, we will hold two rehearsals which is easier because of our frequency of meetings.
     
  7. wcochran

    wcochran Registered User

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    Thank you Brother.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  8. memphisrite

    memphisrite Registered User

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    Dear brother, I read with most concern your words, and my answer is that you may find a new lodge where freemasonry is working as you think it should, or even better, why don't you find a couple more brothers with the same interest and concerns and open a new lodge that focuses on fraternity and learning???... if you really understand freemasonry as something worthy, it is a moral obligation to the GAOTU to help other men to become better... My particular case is that politics and dogma in a Grand Lodge level made me feel uncomfortable for a while, but i focused on myself and my lodge and it when just right; I enjoy being a freemason again.
     
  9. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    I like this, makes sense.
     
  10. Manderthal

    Manderthal Registered User

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    I understand.
    It's evident in every lodge I've visited has a couple of elders pulling the strings. They were active during the lean years when pickings for officers were slim so they sat in the East multiple times out of necessity. We say we meet on the level but the real MVPs are the brothers with PM following their name and the most important attribute a brother can have is a good memory. Ritual is what really matters right? The one with the best memory wins.
    That's why folks who still love freemasonry but can't stand the blue lodge politicking and favoritism find their place in the appendent bodies. True brotherhood awaits there. Pay your dues and go find a place to be happy amongst brothers who will treat you right.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2015
  11. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    I'm pleased that has not been my experience overall. Certainly it has been in some lodges, but by no means all.

    I have found equal control issues in appendant bodies. In fact, I was engaged in a conversation about such just last night.

    We do meet on the level in lodge---as to our profane positions. Clearly, when in lodge, we are not level as to our Masonic position. We are taught that in our ritual, in our constitutions and even in the titles used. Indeed, in some buildings, the officers are physically on differing levels.
     
  12. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    When I was first made a mason I was asked by a friend, "If you are all equal, why do you have ranks". I paused and spoke some wisdom of the EA - "Rank is not about privileged, it is about your responsibilities"

    I always remember my own words and tell others of them, including several GMs.
     
    dfreybur likes this.
  13. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    I can live with that.
     
  14. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Exactly! Well said brother.
     

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